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Choosing the Right Dog Food

Choosing the right brand or type of dog food for your canine buddy can be a bit overwhelming. Your Hutchinson Island grocery store may have dozens, if not hundreds of choices. Your know your canine buddy has specific nutritional needs, but with so many brands out there, each proclaiming its excellence, how do you know which to pick?

Canned vs Dry Food

Canned food tends to have higher meat content and fewer preservatives than dry food. The ingredients in canned food have more moisture, and are less processed than kibbles, both of which are positive. Dry food, however, also has its benefits. It is less expensive, lasts longer, and can be safely left in Fido’s bowl, unlike canned food, which should be removed after a few hours. Rather than choose, many dog owners decide to compromise, and feed a mixture of kibble and canned food.

Puppies

Puppies should nurse from their mothers for at least their first six weeks. Once a puppy is weaned, they can slowly transition to eating solid food. Puppy food should be swapped out for adult food when your pup matures. Puppy food has very high amounts of vitamins and minerals. This is great for a growing pooch, but can become too much of a good thing in adult dogs, who may develop issues from eating puppy food. Smaller and more frequent meals are recommended for puppies. When your furry pal is about six months, you can start feeding him twice daily.

Raw Food

There is a growing movement in support of feeding dogs raw food. The argument is that a raw diet would more closely resemble what Fido would eat in the wild. While this logic would initially seem to have some merit, it isn’t quite that simple. Wild dogs, for one thing, have much shorter lifespans than pets, and are highly prone to parasites. Studies have not yet proven any benefits to this type of diet. Currently, the recommendation is to stick with commercial, cooked dog foods.

Homemade Dog Food

You can make your own food for your pooch. You’ll want to mostly use meat that is chopped, cooked, and free of bones. Avoid using meat that has been sauced, spiced, smoked, or seasoned. Minced meat is fine. You can also add a little boiled rice, and even mix in a bit of commercial dog food if you like. It may take a bit of experimentation to find out what Fido likes best. Just as with people, your pup will have his own personal preferences.

Please check with your Hutchinson Island vet for professional recommendations on what to feed your canine buddy.

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